Friday, February 15, 2013

Ashes, ashes.....we all fall down

Happy Ash Wednesday, one day late.  I actually prefer to wear my ashes today, St. Valentine's Day.  The ashes of my relationships past.  Sometimes I think I do wear said ashes on my forehead, not dissimilar from the albatross around my neck.  Whether single, married, divorced, widowed, dating casually, or whatever my status may be, this is not my favorite holiday and I still think St. Patrick could kick St. Valentine's bloody arse.  Guinnesses and shamrocks are much more my style.   

Sometimes I think people don't understand my sense of humor about this sort of thing. The other day I made a sardonic and self-deprecating comment on facebook and instead of following suit with humor and sarcasm, people responded with "I really feel for you, Laurie" (followed by a paragraph about how awesome her own life is).  And then someone else stated the very condescending, "Honey, {followed by some crappy narrow-minded piece of advice.}".  I am taking a little break from facebook for awhile.  My intentions to be funny are sometimes followed by naysayers, people from whom I *never* hear,  armed with their protest signs, dressed in their battle gear, prepared to read me the riot act. 

The truth of the matter is, I am really quite content.  I have recently ("recently" meaning, over the past ten years), learned that instead of pouting and crying and complaining, it is much easier to be sarcastic and/or funny. And instead of moping about circumstances, to do something about said circumstances. Read: stop whining!  I am not always perfect about following this advice, but I do try.  For example: Lose your job?  You should be sending 15 resumes a week at minimum.  You should be networking with other professionals.  You should be contacting former colleagues to serve as references.  Hate where you live?  You should be determining your budget.  You should be looking on craigslist every single day.  You should be visiting neighborhoods.  Hate being single/married/divorced/widowed?  You should do things that make you happy.  You should be spending time with you friends and family.  You should be laughing.  You should be eating.  You should be initiating new ideas at work.

You get my point.  It is up to *you* to make it better, instead of complaining and crying about it.   I used to have a supervisor who would always pose the question "Bitter or Better?"  And I detested it.  I hated so much when she would say that- that phrase was about as melodious as nails on a chalkboard, but it was a simple statement and she was right.  Are you going to be bitter?  Or are you going to make it better? 

When I started writing this post, I had absolutely no idea where it was going to go (And I still really am uncertain.)  I just knew I promised my friends I would write blogs while absent from facebook.   So I guess I'll just update you. 

Everything is status quo.  Last month I transferred to our base in Chicago so I could hold a line.  A "line" means I have a regular schedule instead of being on "reserve" (on call).  So now I have control over my life.  I have more days off.  I have more productive days.  Sometimes that means longer hours, but it also can mean longer layovers, if I so choose.  I love the control.  I still live in Cleveland for now (and in fact, I am here more days than I was when I was actually based here!) I commute to work, which means I get on a plane and fly from Cleveland to and from O'Hare before and after every trip.  I usually try to work trips that are four days in length.  Or sometimes two three-day trips piggy-backed. Sound like a weird commute?  It is quite common in the aviation industry.  I flew with a flight attendant yesterday who commutes from Fort Myers to Newark.  And I met another flight attendant who lives in the south of Spain and is also Newark based.  Commuting isn't always easy, but it allows one to live where one chooses.  In the upcoming months I will have some decisions to make about whether to stay in Cleveland or not.  And if I do stay here, whether to stay in this apartment or not.  I have been appreciating local Cleveland culture.  A couple weeks ago my friend Emmalyn visited from New York and we ate at a venue called "L'Albatross".  (Not the one around my neck that I referenced earlier.) We also went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Christmas Story House (the movie was filmed in Cleveland and the house has been turned into a museum), and another restaurant called "Lolita", which serves the best brussels sprouts that have ever graced my palate.  They were adorned with capers, anchovies, and walnut.  And of course adorned in butter.  Here are the two of us (adorned in our finest frocks, however not adorned in butter):

Now that I am done using the word "adorned", I shall carry on with the post. This month I have vacation, so my friend JoAnn and I will be going to Cancun for a few days of it.  I managed to arrange my schedule, so as to add three days before my vacation, so I now have ten days off in a row.  So I may try to go somewhere else, as well.  I still have seven states to cross off my list:  Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.   And my passport recently expired.  The new one has a bunch of blank pages empty of stamps, but saturated with opportunity.  The world is my oyster.  Speaking of oysters, I may go to New Orleans again.  I have been craving oysters.

Also, I am taking a trip to Nashville to hear Mike Dooley speak.  He is a motivational speaker who contributed to "The Secret" and his workshop is called Playing the Matrix and Getting What You (Really) Want.  

That sounds about par for the course.  Some things are starting to fall into place.  I already got two things I (really) want just today.  It looks like I will have a weekly column on an online "foodie" publication.  I am negotiating the terms now.  I will keep you all apprised.  Additionally, my friend Doug got us concert tickets to Rush when they come to Raleigh on tour.  Appropriately enough, our seats are in Row YYZ.  (Okay.  Just Row YY.  But the Z would have made it even more appropriate.  Especially had the concert venue been in Toronto.) 

So there you have it.  I will leave you with some photos:

My friend Holly and I.  She, her husband, and her brother were passing through Ohio en route to Vermont for a ski weekend and I was lucky enough to see her on a snowy winter night as she traversed Cleveland.

Sergio, my nephew. 

Sophie, who is my friend Angie's baby, but who is for all intents and purposes, my niece. I have claimed her as such, since I haven't got one of my own.  She was trying on my shoes the next photo, she is trying on some shoes I brought her back from Istanbul.  I can't get enough of this little face. 

And I can't get enough of this little face either. 

Nor this one.  This is my Grandma K. Followed by the rest of my family. 

Ok, I'm out.  Kitty is lying next to me on my bed, snoring.  It is quite endearing, so I am going to go appreciate the moment.  And perhaps wash off these ashes.